Billy has decided he has a new diagnosis

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DammitJanet, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Anhedonia: Loss of the capacity to experience pleasure. The inability to gain pleasure from normally pleasurable experiences. Anhedonia is a core clinical feature of depression, schizophrenia, and some other mental illnesses.

    An anhedonic mother finds no joy from playing with her baby. An anhedonic football fan is not excited when his team wins. An anhedonic teenager feels no pleasure from passing the driving test.

    "Anhedonia" is derived from the Greek "a-" (without) "hedone" (pleasure, delight). Other words derived from "hedone" include hedonism (a philosophy that emphasizes pleasure as the main aim of life), hedonist (a pleasure-seeker), and hedonophobia (an excessive and persistent fear of pleasure).
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Janet - self-diagnosis is always risky, but... depression is far more common than most people realize, and particularly goes un-diagnosed in males because their symptoms are different than females. Try researching "male depression"... it's eye-opening.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Learn something new every day.

    I would have called it apathy, but I guess with apathy you don't feel dis-pleasure either.

    Seems like every psychiatric symptom has it's own diagnosis name. This occurred to me when BFF was researching her son's knuckle chewing. Turns out that had a name, and so does lip chewing and shirt chewing and.......etc.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Isn't it interesting that it is far easier to NAME a problem than it is to come up with a SOLUTION?
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    I think that's psychiatry's magic act. They distract us with fancy names and dxes, just to make us think they actually did something.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well we have always felt that Billy has been on the aspie spectrum but he has a point that he really doesnt exhibit much in the way of true feelings of either really happy moods or severe dark moods. He is kind of this person who doesnt show any emotions. My mother died and she was the one who took a ton of care for him and he never really cried about it. The other two boys did and to my surprise, I actually did and I didnt think I would considering how rocky our relationship had been. I still have some raw emotions over it but he doesnt seem to. Then there was my father and he seemed to almost just be there to pat me on the back. When I was in the hospital and so close to death, well he came and saw me but there was no real emotion. He sat on a chair and played games on his phone. No talk of being worried about me. I take it as maybe that is just his way of not being able to show he cares. There are a few times he will watch a tv show with me and find it funny. Not often. Most things he likes are books, movies and his video games. I do think he is depressed over his job but one thing he said was he eats so much because he doesnt have the ability to know when to stop because he never feels happy or satisfied with anything. I can actually understand that to a degree because when I am extremely depressed nothing will satisfy me at all.
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Not 'having' emotions, positive or negative, can also be alexithymia. It is more about not having words to emotions and not recognizing them. Emotions are there and can come up as physiological symptoms. Little bit like with small kids, who complain that their tummy hurts, when in reality they are anxious about something they are expecting to happen.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Janet, I know about the diagnosis. A distant friend of mine has schizophrenia and he has the same thing. It isn't an inability to feel emotions. It is an inability to experience pleasure at all. Poor billy.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'd say in Billy's case, it's a symptom, not a diagnosis. And it may or may not be true depression. I'm probably going to hit a raw nerve with someone, but honestly.......I think we "over do" depression. If one is sad, we tend to take it to the extreme and they're depressed. If one is bored with their life (and c'mon, we all know we go through such stages), they're depressed. If something isn't working out as planned and the person is bummed about it, they're depressed. I'm sorry, but most of this is just normal down in the crapper stuff, not true depression. So I get a bit irked when the term gets over used.

    Travis has his psychiatric evaluation for SS coming up soon. I can't wait to hear all the dxes spew forth. And I'm sure they will because I've told him to be utterly honest, be himself......don't try to impress or whatever.

    Travis is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and on the lower end of the autistic spectrum. When SS asked what a typical day for him is like it was more or less one sentence. He gets up, sits at his computer desk, works on the same computer game he's been working on for years, maybe will watch a movie or read on the computer. During this he might wander downstairs to grab something to eat or to sit down at a meal I've cooked. His only social interactions are with immediate family (and even that is minimal compared to what society views as normal ) and the one to two people he works on the game with if they happen to be online. Then he gets up to go to bed. He doesn't do anything with his clothing (not even change it), hair, doesn't bathe......unless told to do so by me because either I've seen the same clothes for too many days or I get a whiff and want to fall over.

    This alone has been classified as "depressed" since the first time he walked into a psychiatrist's office. (which is why I stopped taking him) I assure you, he's not depressed. This is his "normal" state. No, he's probably not thrilled to death either. But Travis as an adult no longer goes to extreme as often in emotion. As a child, oh heck yeah, we had a heck of a time with it swinging back and forth because every emotion he had was felt 100 X's that of a "normal" person. If in anger, I have still seen situations when it can be triggered. But otherwise, no. Travis adored mother in law and they had a special bond, he'd do anything in the world for her. When she passed, he was sad but someone who didn't know him well would say he didn't even grieve her passing. Same with his dad. I know both losses hurt just isn't felt the same way we feel things, it goes along with the "out of sight/out of mind" thing that many on the spectrum seem to have going on, which those in this family definitely had as a strong trait. He felt the hurt, it was done, he let it go and life goes on. Know what I mean??

    This also goes hand in hand with pleasure. I saw it with husband.....I see it with Travis. And yes, I think they both realized that they didn't "feel" it like other people usually do. But I don't find that surprising either. Now I can't speak for those higher functioning than Travis......but say you were to give him a gift, if that gift isn't within one of his obsessions, you've wasted your money if you think he's going to be thrilled to death. That doesn't mean he doesn't like the gift or that he won't enjoy it to some degree, you just aren't going to see any real reaction from him about it. Travis does say Thank you because he was taught to do so no matter if it was the worst gift in the world, had he not been taught to do so, he probably wouldn't even think to thank for a gift outside of his obsession thing.

    I'll tell you want, I know I'd be bored out of my ever loving mind if I were to "create" the same darn video game over a period of several years. Travis finds pleasure in it though, obviously quite a bit or it wouldn't have lasted so long. I know he's "excited" about it when he comes and tells me something they're working on.........and no, this is not you're typical "excited" behavior, but then again it is for him.

    But Travis' reclusive behavior, little to no desire for social interaction, lack of personal hygiene, and repetitive behaviors usually gets him diagnosed severely depressed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), when that is not even remotely close. It is the autism with some Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) thrown in to make it interesting and to me any psychiatrist or therapist too stupid to figure that out doesn't need to "treat" my kid.

    Sorry. I think I might have went off on a tangent. But with you believing strongly that Billy is on the spectrum, you have to keep in mind that his thought processes are simply NOT like everyone elses. What we perceive as normal doesn't really apply to them because their "normal" is so vastly different from ours depending on where they're at on the spectrum. I'm not saying he can't be depressed, because that's not the case. I'm saying you & a psychiatrist would have to carefully look at his daily life and talk to him to find out if anything really has changed to indicate he is depressed or has issues feeling pleasure.

    I say this because I can't tell you how many times Travis has come to me with one psychiatric diagnosis or another scared to death he has it because of the symptoms they list. And each time we go over them and I explain that those are symptoms of the autism or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or whatever and he feels huge relief. (I'll also ask questions to make certain other things in his daily life haven't' changed as well) Honestly, from what I've gathered over the years, those on the spectrum can grasp eventually that there is a huge difference between them and the rest of the world. What they seem to never stop struggling with is why that is the case.

    So......... I dunno if that helped you or not. I do know I saw the same things with husband's bro (who just has strong traits) and his cousin (who is fairly high functioning). So it's not just husband and Travis.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I guess I worry because we have never actually gotten Billy dxd with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and he refused to go it when he had health insurance and now he has none. I think he is scared to death to actually reveal stuff to anyone after all this time. I messed up with not realizing there was anything wrong with him as a child. To my eyes when he was young, he was simply the academically gifted but learning disabled geeky good child in the family and I was just thrilled to have him around considering I had two Tasmanian Devils to deal with. Billy was quiet. He basically did what you told him and entertained himself in his room. I never knew that was a bad Then one year in school he wrote this really dark poem in school and everyone was up in arms and we all wanted to send him to a psychiatrist but Billy convinced us that he was told by the teacher to write something like that so he wrote it about what he thought went through either my head or Cory's head. I do wonder now if he was lying.

    I think Billy is unhappy with himself right now and he has a right to be. His job isnt going well, his girlfriend is being an idiot and I would dump her but I think he feels like he couldnt get anyone else, and who wants to be his age still living at home. Because of the job he cant afford to move out. Tony found him a really good job lead from this place that came from someone that showed up at his job and the guy gave Tony his business card with his first name on it and told Billy to go see him pronto because he could definitely use someone like that. I stayed up that night to give Billy the business card and Billy sent him his resume but thats not what I told him to do. Its been over a week and he hasnt gone down to see the man. Supposedly he is going to call them this week to make an appointment to go see them next week on his day off next week. Now granted this place is a good distance from our house but this place pays really well and he could afford to get a place on his own there after a month or so of pay checks.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Could Billy afford a visit to a psychiatrist at county mental health?? Would they do a sliding scale since he has no insurance?

    I hope he goes for the new job. But don't be surprised if he doesn't. Autistic people have issues with any sort of change, even if it's for something better, and he's been in his job a long time.

    And don't go beating yourself up over not having him diagnosis all those years ago. I fought tooth and nail to get Travis diagnosed and he didn't get it until he was almost 15.......and it was ONLY because I found a doctor that specialized and taught it in medical school. Otherwise, he'd probably not be diagnosed either. Times have changed drastically since our kids were young.

  12. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I can understand how he can be depressed. He's stuck in a job he doesn't love (I can't believe being an asst. manager there for so long he doesn't have benefits). His girlfriend isn't giving him any pleasure, it must be hard for him to just go through the motions day after day. He needs fun. Real fun. It's like he forgot what fun is so I can totally understand how he feels apathetic. It is depression. I know Hound you think it's a term that's used too much, but situational depression is still depression. Life stinks sometims and it's normal to feel sad and depressed at times.

    I hope Billy changes something in his life. With his electronics expertise he could make so much money somewhere doing what he loves. Can he send out resumes on line? That might be easier for him. He can apply everywhere, every company needs people with experience like that. He deserves a lot more. I hope he sees that.